I love being crafty and I love organizing, so this little printer caught my eye when I shopping at my local craft store. I’ve used this to create labels, make cards, personalize gift bags, create luggage tags, organize my craft room, and make a little Christmas decor!
Showcasing learner work is not just a best practice for educators. Campus and district leaders can also showcase learners and educators! I am always looking for efficient ways to recognize learners and educators at my campus. This year, I have found a system that really works for me!
- Twitter + mobile app = effective and efficent: Use your smartphone or iPad to take pictures and use an app like Instaframe, ArcFrame, Pic Stitch or Photocollage to create a photo. I used InstaFrame in the image below to create this image that shows evidence of PBL in classrooms. I can use Twitter to share this information, use our campus hashtag, and include the teachers’ twitter handle in my tweet to give them recognition. It only takes a few minutes to create!
I was so impressed with our third grade learners today. They were able to successfully collaborate to generate quality knows and need to know and problem-solve with assigning roles and reviewing their social contract. I was AMAZED and how many learners were eager to take on a leadership role with this project. I am looking forward to seeing their progress and final products.
I love my iPad. I can remember ordering the first generation iPad…and then the second generation iPad. I gave my so
n the iPad 1 and I have used the iPad 2 for quite some time. However, with the release of iOS7, the first generation iPad was no longer supported. My son could no longer play some of his favorite games and we could no longer join our iPads for collaborating on projects. He now calls his first generation iPad, “the grandpa of iPads”, because it is “so old”. (He is only seven, so we won’t tell GrandPa about this.) I had two thoughts:
him an iPad Mini for Christmas
2. Purchase an iPad Air and give him the iPad 2 for Christmas
Option 2 seemed to be a win-win for us both. I ordered my iPad Air (Space Gray/64GB Wi-Fi+Cellular) online and opted to pick it up at my local Apple store. Here are my first impressions:
- WOW! It is noticeably smaller. I had to check the tech specs to make sure it still had a 9.7 inch screen. I like that it fits in most of my handbags now.
- Light! Light! Light. It is much lighter than my iPad 2. It really feels like a mobile device now. I like the feel of it when I am reading a book or pulling up the Bible app at church. It is a nice one-handed device.
- Faster. With the upgraded A7 chip, my apps respond faster. I also noticed a faster experience when surfing the web.
- Crystal Clear. Yeah for retina display. I compared my iPad 2 and iPad Air side by side and the retina display is simply amazing.
- Thank you AT&T. You no longer have to swap sim cards. There is now an option to transfer your 3G service to your new device. I have the unlimited plan that is no longer offered, so this was a pretty important feature for me.
I am pleased so far and hope my son will enjoy his iPad 2 on Christmas morning!
Everything happens for a reason. Everything is about God’s timing.
About seven years ago, my life changed forever. I became a mother and my life priorities changed. I took a year off to be with my son and learn the ropes of motherhood. I will never, ever regret taking that time off for him. I loved every minute of it. I returned to work the next year.
On my son’s first birthday, I had a very important conversation with my father about returning to school and getting my doctorate one day…one day. I was barely getting the hang of being a working mom, and I truly could not imagine balancing all of that! Little would I know, that would be the last conversation I would have with my father. He passed away, completely unexpectedly, three days later. I felt like the Earth collapsed under feet.
Life is short. I started thinking about the things I really wanted to accomplish in life. What was God’s purpose for me? I knew three things to be true: (1) I wanted to be in a position for God to use me, (2) I discovered two of my passions in life- teaching and technology, and (3) I wanted to pursue my doctoral degree. Discovering my passion was a true blessing. Returning to school would be a tremendous challenge. I thought about how my Mother was such a wonderful example of balancing family, a career and continuing her education. So, in the summer of 2010, I went back to school! Whew! What an adventure. I have completed all of my coursework and I am currently working on my final project study! I made it this far through the grace of God and a very supportive family.
This summer, my Pastor’s sermons focused on two themes that really stood out to me:
- What is for you is for you.
- It’s all about God’s timing.
One of my long term goals was to teach at the college level. This is a very competitive and challenging area, so imagine my amazement when I was presented with an opportunity to teach an instructional technology course at a university. This is such an awesome blessing. I am looking forward to a busy year, filled with many challenges. I am feeling tremendously blessed.
The PBL World Conference was inspiring on many levels. We had the opportunity to hear many keynote speaker and attend a few level 200 PBL sessions to help us gain a deeper understanding of project based learning. I was AMAZED at the young lady (I’ll add her name later..can’t remember) who was “visually taking notes” during the keynotes to capture the essence of their message. I thought about the learners who doodle and the learners who could really benefit from this type of information processing. I decided to reflect on a few things and attempt some visual notetaking using the NoteShelf app on my iPad. Here are some finally products…
The Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) Summer Conference conference was in full swing this week. I wanted to just reflect on my experiences this week.
What I learned…
I learned that we are making remarkable strides for learners in Texas. There are dedicated leaders in our state that are making changes to ensure our learners are engaged in learning and prepared for their future. I learned that other schools and districts are also on the journey of transformation; transformation in instruction, leadership, climate, culture.
I learned that the support of your superintendent is crucial. I am fortunate to have a superintendent that gives us a direct charge to transform. He pushes us to constantly think about our next steps and improve on our successes. Change and continuous improvement is an essential component of leadership.
I learned from our keynote speakers- Stephen Peters (right photo) and Todd Whitaker (left photo)- that leadership is a calling and we must be inspired everyday to do our very best for the learners, educators, and parents we serve.
What I shared…
I had the opportunity to present “Leading Instructional Change Through Project Based Learning” with my campus team. We shared our transformation journey. This journey is about learners. It’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than the principal, it’s biggest than the teachers. It is about the learner, everything is about doing what’s right for learners. We were able to share what transformation has looked like at our campus and share learner and educator perspectives. It was refreshing to see so many educational leaders inspired to make instructional change at their campus. Our session was full!
Looking forward to TEPSA 2014!